June International Tours

McGeechan sees the positives after Lions draw

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While the disappointment of a drawn match will count for nothing with a view to the second Test in Pretoria on Saturday, British and Irish Lions coach Ian McGeechan was happy that there “were some good performances” as he looks to bolster the Test side after last weekend’s loss in Durban.


The Lions drew 13-all with the Emerging Springboks at Newlands on Tuesday night after a try in the last second by winger and Sevens Springbok Danwel Demas who was sent over through a smart pass from replacement Willem de Waal, which the replacement flyhalf then converted from the touchline.


“I feel sorry for the players who wanted to play rugby,” McGeechan said.


“We probably played too much in the second half,” he added, and said he felt there was very little rugby played.


“It was just a kicking game in monsoon conditions.”


Lions captain of the day, Ronan O’Gara, saw the match as an opportunity for the players to express themselves with a view of putting their hands up for a Test place, “but they didn’t really get that opportunity.”


But McGeechan was able to find some positives from that and said, ” I think there were some good performances.”


The Lions also fel that it was important that they did not lose – which would have been their second loss in as many matches with the third Test looming.


“We probably missed some opportunities that would have taken us away. ”


“We didn’t lose, which is very important,” said McGeechan who was particularly happy with his team’s defence in conditions O’Gara, described as of the worst he has experienced.


O’Gara said his team hit the ground running, but should probably have played in the Emerging Boks’ territory more in the second half.


Meanwhile Coach Dick Muir said the Emerging Springboks did a great job of disrupting the British & Irish Lions ahead of Saturday’s second Test in Pretoria after his charges forced an 13-all draw against the tourists at Newlands on Tuesday evening.


Muir said that in the process several players in the Emerging Boks side had put up their hands for Springbok selection through their polished displays in trying wintry conditions, although he stopped short of naming those who stand-out performances.


“Our job was to disrupt the Lions this week going into the Test on Saturday, and I think the boys did a great job there,” said Muir.


“We did not win but at least we got a draw.”


“It was incredible that this team could put up a performance like this because they came together in such a short space of time.


“The Emerging Boks showed guts and determination and that’s what will be required if they are chosen to wear the green and gold.


“Even after Saturday’s defeat in the Durban Test the Lions came into this match with momentum but I think we did well to reverse that in this match.


“In the first half we probably tried to play too much rugby but in the second half we got it right in those conditions and then we manage to get back strongly in the game.”


Dewald Potgieter the Emerging Springboks captain said the conditions were very trying but at least his team were well prepared for the elements.


“I don’t think people will ever understand what we (the Emerging Springboks) achieved out there today,” said Potgieter.


“We had about four training sessions and the draw was the best thing that could happen to this very special bunch of players.


“Conditions were very tough out there but at least we knew about it and it was part of our preparation.


“Hats off to the guys who made the technical decisions on the field and towards the end guys like Earl Rose and Willem de Waal made sure we stayed in the right parts of the field.”


Flanker Jean Deysel who was named ‘Man-of-the-Match’ for his storming display said the Emerging Boks were well prepared for a physical battle.


“We knew that phys

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